As the tragic events of Benghazi remind us, an American president has a heavy responsibility to keep his people safe around the globe. Perhaps the American public may have forgiven him long enough to re-elect him in November -- we shall see. But his administration's feeble attempt at covering up their missteps exacted more damage onto his campaign than the Benghazi attack itself. Americans hate being lied to and will likely remember this come election day.
Benghazi has not been the president's only foreign policy dilemma. Obama's "open hand" diplomacy, the theory that kinder words and polite discourse will inevitably thaw the relationship between our most vocal foes has not quite worked.
I liken this foreign policy approach to the budding career of a young, inexperienced teacher who desires to look "cool" for his young audience. The new teacher will first seek to befriend the students -- bullies and all. The attentions of the good students are diminished. The front row kids (allies to the teacher) are brushed off by the teacher, isolated and left alone to fend for themselves. The teacher doesn't want to seem as if he has favorites.
The bullies press onward, exacting vengeance through their newfound power. Before you know it, the teacher has lost control of the room entirely. The good kids resent him now, while the bad kids hate him all the same for not giving into more of their demands. Quickly burnt out from teaching, the cool young teacher decides to go into politics instead.
Our enemies continue to hate us, perhaps more so now that they lack fear and respect. Iran continues full-speed ahead with their nuclear program, Russia continues to arm radical crazies across the Middle East, and even the Jamaicans continue to taunt us with their super-human Olympian track stars.
Hoping to appear a neutral, distant observer of world events, Obama alienated our closest allies -- Israel and Great Britain.
It is unclear how presidential candidate Mitt Romney will handle foreign affairs. To his credit he has voiced his approval of Israel and vows a stronger stand against Iran. Should he win, look to see a more assertive approach to foreign policy than the one practiced by the current administration.
Not only will the lucky winner inherit a host of domestic issues, but a myriad of foreign policy entanglements as well. The winner will have to combat obvious issues such as Al Qaeda (despite the current administration's laudings that they've been defeated), Afghanistan, Iran, as well as a resurgent Russia.
The Bible records a number of future world events that American presidents will encounter – possibly sooner than later. Old Testament prophets didn’t have the president of the United States in mind when writing their prophecies, but since it is likely we are moving closer to the end-times, the future president will have to tangle with the fulfillment of key prophecies in Scripture.
According to ancient Bible prophecies and the predictions of geopolitical experts, here are some key foreign policy issues (besides typical Middle East mayhem) that the winner in November will face in the coming years.
1. Growing friendship between Iran, Russia, and Turkey
In chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel, it is recorded that these three nations (along with a number of allies) will invade the “mountains of Israel.” As Ezekiel (38:2-6) foretells, the descendants of the “Magogites,” “Beth-Togarmah,” “Meschech,” “Tubal,” and “Gomer” will join forces in an attempt to wipe Israel off the map. A fully-detailed article about this future event will be published soon.
Russia will no doubt test the new American president, much as they tested President Obama by invading the tiny pro-Western nation of Georgia. The relationship between Russia and Iran is most easily discerned, yet we know from scripture they will grow even closer in the future. Like an obnoxiously touchy couple, the Russians and Iranians have engaged in PDA with arms deals and energy trades, flaunting international sanctions.
What was once inconceivable (a Russo-Turkish alliance) is quickly coming a geopolitical nightmare for Western leaders. These two nations were in a near constant state of war for the better part of 300 years. Ever since 2000, however, these two nations have grown fond of one another.
In addition to energy packages, the Russians are aiding the Turks in their new nuclear reactor. Expect to see the Prime Minister of Turkey joining Vladimir Putin in the wilds of Siberia riding horseback – shirtless. This might draw the jealous eye of Iran, but there's enough Vlad to go around for everyone.
Ezekiel's reference to this battle taking place in the "latter years" (Ezekiel 38:8 NASB) places this future conflict somewhere during the end-times. Ezekiel makes it clear that the attackers don't make it out alive. Every invading soldier of this massive coalition will be killed in the mountains of Israel.
Energy deals, weapons treaties, and anti-Western sentiment have linked these three nations together over the past decade. Moreover, the trio has voiced their criticism and opposition to American interests quite frequently. This Eurasian alliance will give the next president of the United States a severe migraine for the better part of four years.
2. Russian incursions into East Africa
Referred to as the lands of “Cush” and “Put” in Ezekiel 38:6. East Africa is a rough neighborhood these days, one that will accept help from anyone – including Russia. In fact, Russia has spent the past decade pouring money into the infrastructure and economies of East Africa.
Perhaps Russia's interest lies in Africa's reserves of raw resources – oil, diamonds, and gold being the foremost. Maybe Russia secretly wishes for greater access to the Gulf of Aden, a significant oil waterway in the Middle East.
For whatever reason, some of the nations of East Africa are predicted by Ezekiel to take part in a future invasion of Israel. As God prepares the earth for this coming invasion, look to see the Russians asserting more economic authority over East Africa.
3. Isolated Israel
This is a shocker. Even if Romney wins the election and vows to protect Israel, the Jewish nation will continue to have a large contingent of nations across the globe who still hate its existence. Until Armageddon, Israel will bear the brunt of that hatred.
If America attempts to protect Israel, it will continue to be labeled the Great Satan. My advice to the president: given a choice between God's blessing for those who protect Israel or the continual enmity of mankind, always side with God.
4. Fragmenting Europe
Yes, the European Union just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Before I delve into the many reasons why the Nobel Peace Prize no longer matters, I will congratulate Europe a bit. The continent has managed a reasonable degree of peace for the better part of two decades. But don't let the cheery camaraderie of the recent Olympics fool you, Europe has a history of violence. As ground zero for the future antichrist’s rise to power, Europe is predicted to be a war zone at the start of the Tribulation.
Most Bible scholars agree, when the antichrist comes onto the scene, it will be from a nation descended from ancient Rome (Western Europe). In the midst of Daniel’s prophecy regarding the Tribulation, Daniel 9:26b gives the ethnic identity of the antichrist, “The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” “The people” who destroyed the city were the Romans in 70 AD. Therefore, “the ruler who will come” (referring to the antichrist) will be someone of Roman descent.
Europe is full of powerful nations, and as the European Union falls apart many of them will seek to exert their authority over one another by any means necessary. In the future, when the antichrist comes to Europe, he will wage war against his neighbors. Most likely, neither Obama nor Romney will have to tackle a European antichrist just yet. But a troubled Europe is much in the picture.
According to prominent European philosopher Andre Glucksmann, Europe is heading into darker days once again. Believing that Europeans cannot unite due to their inherent cultural divisions, Glucksmann claims that Europeans lack the ability to unite against common enemies. Russia’s resurgence and Islam’s quiet takeover of Europe are two such examples.
When one considers the southern European economies on the brink of economic ruin and Germany ready to bolt, it may appear that the EU has a shortened future ahead of it. The 2008 recession hurt the Euro far more than it did the US dollar. Already there are indications that the Union will collapse in the coming years.
The economic powerhouse of the EU, Germany, has already expressed its desire for southern Europe to enact austerity measures to counter potential economic ruin. For Germany to continue its participation in the Euro, Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed Germany’s desire for more control of it. Recently Germany has sought control over southern banking industries, a proposal met with disdain from Greece especially.
At best, the European Union will continue as a disenchanted conglomerate of independent nations awhile longer. At worst, according to a recent CNN article, Europe’s economy will restructure and the European Union will disintegrate.
Germany’s argument for more cuts in spending has been undermined by France’s Socialist president, Francois Hollande. Hollande has vowed to end austerity measures and his seventy five percent tax on the wealthy will no doubt scare the business right out of France. Additionally, neither Spain nor Italy (two of Europe’s largest economies) have the political will to carry out austerity measures. Economically, the situation looks bleak for Europe.
Europe’s twenty-year stint with peace is an anomaly for the continent. Centuries of constant warfare culminating in two world wars and a cold war after that can attest to this. Once the antichrist comes to Europe there may be a return to normalcy in Europe – violent division.
Regardless of who wins in November, the United States faces a difficult world as it plunges headlong into the end-times. But hey, on the bright side, God is in control of world events, not man. In the end, God wins.